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Options to Fill the Buffalo Bills’ Top Five Draft Needs

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
If the Buffalo Bills seek to draft a defensive end on Day 2, Stanford's Henry Anderson could be a realistic option. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas — USA Today Sports)

If the Buffalo Bills seek to draft a defensive end on Day 2, Stanford’s Henry Anderson could be a realistic option. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

The Buffalo Bills enter the 2015 NFL Draft with a new regime, with Rex Ryan in as head coach, Greg Roman as the new offensive coordinator and Dennis Thurman as the new defensive coordinator.

Last year in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bills traded up to No. 4 overall from No. 9 overall, swapping picks with the Cleveland Browns, and took Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. In exchange for No. 4, the Bills gave back No. 9 as well as their first-round pick (No. 19 overall) and fourth-round pick (No. 115 overall) in this year’s draft.

Without those picks, the Bills are going to miss out on a potential starter and another player who could be a potential starter or rotational player. That makes it much more important for them to hit on the few picks that they have.

While it is obvious that the Bills have a need for a starting quarterback, they already have a three-man competition for the starting position. EJ Manuel was drafted in the first round in 2013 to be the franchise signal-caller, but the jury is still out on him. Meanwhile, Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor both were brought in to challenge Manuel for the starting spot.

With a huge drop after the top two quarterbacks in this class, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, it’s tough to see a scenario where the Bills draft a quarterback to compete with the three already on their roster, and find one that offers more starting potential then they already have. Bills are in a “win-now” mentality with their roster, and drafting a raw quarterback in day two or three of the draft won’t solve those issues.

With that said, here’s a look at the Bills’ top five other positions of need and what players they could target for those positions, depending on when in the draft they decide to address each need.

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Bill Polian Selected for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Saturday, January 31st, 2015
A 2012 inductee into the Bills Wall of Fame, Bill Polian will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

A 2012 inductee into the Bills Wall of Fame, Bill Polian will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Six members of the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl teams from the early 1990s—quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas, wide receivers Andre Reed and James Lofton, defensive end Bruce Smith and coach Marv Levy—have all been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Later this year, they will be joined in Canton by the man who helped bring them all together.

Bill Polian, who was the Bills’ pro personnel director from 1984-85 and their general manager from 1986-92, will be one of eight members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, which was announced Saturday. He is one of the first two Hall of Famers, along with former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, to be inducted through the Hall of Fame’s new category for contributors who did not play or coach the game.

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Halftime Report: Browns 3, Bills 0 As Both Teams Failing to Capitalize on Scoring Opportunities

Sunday, November 30th, 2014
Neither the Bills nor Browns has reached the end zone through 30 minutes in Buffalo. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

Neither the Bills nor Browns has reached the end zone through 30 minutes in Buffalo. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

For a game between two teams with winning records, Sunday’s first half between the Buffalo Bills (6-5) and Cleveland Browns (7-4) sure has been ugly.

It’s never good to be shut out for a half of a football game, but the Bills are actually fortunate to be facing the score they are going into halftime.

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Bills Offense Shows Signs of Life While Jets Offense Sputters in First Half

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Robert Woods has come up big so far in Detroit for the Bills. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

Robert Woods has come up big so far in Detroit for the Bills. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Coming into Monday night’s game against the Buffalo Bills in Detroit, the New York Jets ranked 31st in the NFL in yards per game and 30th in points per game. That might not change by the end of the night if the first half was any indication.

The Jets offense has avoided the turnovers that defined its first game against the Bills this year, but only by luck. Jets quarterback Michael Vick has had at least four passes go off of Bills defenders that each could have been intercepted.

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2014 NFL Week 2: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, Live Analysis

Sunday, September 14th, 2014
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (No. 99) and slot cornerback Nickell Robey (No. 37) had reasons to celebrate their play Sunday. (Photo: Robert Mayer — USA Today Sports)

The Bills swept the Dolphins in 2013. Can they extend their winning streak over Miami to three? (Photo: Robert Mayer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Final thoughts:

Buffalo was dominant in their home opener over the Miami Dolphins winning 29-10. Offensively, EJ Manuel was efficient for the second straight week, and while the running game struggled, C.J. Spiller was able to rip off one long 47 yard run.

Miami came out in the second half behind 9-0 and made some terrific adjustments. After Miami scored on their first possession of the second half, Buffalo responded via special teams. Spiller returned a kickoff 102 yards. After two or three impressive drives, Miami fizzled out.

Sammy Watkins was the star of the game among Buffalo’s playmakers. He was targeted 11 times and caught 8 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. It was Watkins’ first NFL touchdown and first 100 yard game in his young career.

On the line, Seantrel Henderson performed well against Cameron Wake. He received TE help but did had a terrific game.

Defensively, Buffalo’s line recorded sacks and batted passes. It was a terrific performance from the front four.

Nigel Bradham looked outstanding in his first game of the season and had quite a few impressive hits. The run defense held Miami to 80 yards rushing.

All in all, a great week for the Bills. Next up? The San Diego Chargers.

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